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The Anti-Bacterial Effects of Green Tea

The Anti-Bacterial Effects of Green Tea

We all know that green tea can be good for our health, but did you know that it makes a great anti-bacterial as well? That’s right – green tea can be particularly effective at fighting bacteria and subsequent infections and viruses, and several clinical studies are showing just how beneficial it can be.

One such study, conducted by Cho et al and published in Current Microbiology in 2008, found that green tea can actually be beneficial in helping to fight cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The researchers at the Department of Biotechnology in Soonchunhyang University looked at the effect of green tea polyphenols, or antioxidants, on several strains of the infection and found that antibiotics were much more effective when used in conjunction with green tea extract.

Another study looked at the effects of green tea in relation to the immune system and its ability to fight off infection, with favorable results. Researchers at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston conducted a study in 2003 which seemed to show that drinking green tea can boost the body’s immune system, by taking 11 healthy participants and instructing them to drink green tea while 10 others were told to start drinking coffee.

It was found that those who drank 20 ounces of green tea every day for at least 2 weeks had a significantly enhanced immune system, with the body doubling or even tripling the amount of interferon gamma produced. This is a key infection-fighting substance and the study shows that just drinking green tea can help to increase its production, making the body more resilient to future attacks from bacteria or viruses.

Yet another study, this time conducted in 2005 and published in the November issue of Antiviral Research, found that green tea can even be used to help fight the flu virus. Researchers found that on application of EGCG (or epigallocatechin gallate, a primary antioxidant found in green tea) the chance of the flu virus being replicated was significantly reduced, showing just how much of an effect green tea can have.

So what makes green tea so effective? As some of these studies indicate, it seems to come down to the antioxidant levels found in green tea. Green tea has an enhanced level of a number of antioxidants, and as antioxidants are used to fight free radicals or oxidants in our body (the cells that cause damage), it makes sense that they’d attack bacterial cells as well. An increased level of antioxidants in our body is already known to keep us healthy, and that, combined with green tea’s ability to fight bacteria and increase the health of our immune system, probably explains why it has so much of an effect.

So, green tea really can be used to help fight bacteria and it has a number of applications where it can be effective, most interestingly in its ability to ward off infections. If you have a depleted immune system then drinking green tea would be well-advised, or even if you just want to increase the levels of antioxidants in your body to keep you healthy. Green tea has a whole host of benefits and adding it into your daily diet certainly won’t do any harm, so give it a go and see just how effective it can be.

We invite you to re-post this recipe on your own web site with the following hyper-linked attribution

“Republished with permission from EatGreenTea.com, the original edible green tea.”


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